Transparency According to Carol Browner: “Put nothing in writing, ever”

November 1, 2010 08:10

The free pass of zero-accountability for Obama Czars will soon end. We have questions, and the American people deserve answers.

by  Rep. Fred Upton at Human Events


“Put nothing in writing, ever,” sounds like a command a veteran CIA official may give to an incoming class of new officers.

But according to various media reports, that “cloak and dagger” tactic was Energy and Climate Change Czar Carol Browner’s underlying rule for auto industry executives involved with secret negotiations concerning the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.

On January 19, 2001, a district court issued a preliminary injunction, ordering that “the Environmental Protection Agency and its agents and employees are enjoined from transporting, removing or in any way tampering with information” potentially responsive to a pending FOIA request.  In spite of the judge’s order, outgoing EPA Administrator Browner instructed an EPA technician to erase all of her email and to wipe the hard drive clean.  Two years later, a judge ruled against EPA in this matter and held that “EPA acted in contempt of the Court’s order.”

Because Browner serves as a Czar, she has not been subject to the customary Senate confirmation hearing in which her philosophy on transparency could be examined.  This circumvention is wholly unacceptable, especially given Browner’s wide-ranging legislative portfolio and influence within the administration.


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